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Top Sudoku Players Wanted

The inaugural New Zealand Sudoku championship will be held in Thames over the first weekend of March. The winners of the Open and under 18 grades will be guaranteed selection in a four person national team to contest the World Sudoku Championship in London later in the year.

The Championship will be in four divisions: open, under 18, under 16, and under 14. Entry in multiple divisions is automatic for age-eligible puzzlers. “It is entirely possible that a thirteen year old could be the first New Zealand Sudoku champion,” says organiser Bob Gandal.

You can join in anytime this month at You'll have forty-five minutes to solve as many puzzles as possible, with the best scores achieved in four Sudoku and two Vaki puzzles being added together to provide an overall score.

“The format is challenging,” says Rhys Cullen, president of the New Zealand Puzzle Association. “It requires puzzlers to finish their Sudoku and Vaki puzzles quickly and accurately. There is real time pressure and as in any championship the winner will be someone who has practiced.”

“Almost everyone has access to the internet and this has allowed us to run an electronic championship rather than trying to interpret hurried scribbles on pencil and paper with the inevitable arguments and delay in announcing results,” says Mr Gandal. “Sometimes the most interesting parts of competition in the UK and USA are the fierce dead parrot arguments put forward by contestants who, after handing a puzzle up to the judges, decide that they would much prefer that the seven in row three column four, was, instead, a three.”

“We will take the opportunity to further test the world’s hardest logic puzzle, Vaki Kal-toh, at this championship”, says Mr Cullen. “Kal-toh is a Vulcan puzzle imagined by the creators of Star Trek but never made real. We will be bringing simple and not so simple versions of Vaki Kal-toh to Thames. The simple version has been solved just once by a computer geek in the UK. There will be chocolate fish for solvers in Thames.

The Sudoku championship is part of the NZ Festival of Mind Sports taking place in Thames from Friday 28 February to Sunday 2 March. This will include the NZ Mind Sports Championship, a separate competition.


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